'De gouden vogel', 'Het levenswater' en de Walewein. Over de sprookjestheorie van Maartje Draak

Willem de Blécourt


Ever since the republication of Maartje Draak's 1936 thesis in 1975, scholars of Dutch medieval literature have uncritically accepted her argument that the middle-dutch epic Walewein is based on a fairy tale of the type ATU 550. As there is no written evidence for this, the claim rests on the reification of the tale type and its projection into medieval history. Fairy tale research, on the other hand, indicates that the type was developed out of an early nineteenth-century Grimm story, which itself was a retelling of a late eighteenth-century published tale, with, among others, roots in the medieval exemplum The Water of Life.

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